An exciting day at the Stockholm trading floor

Axel Arenlind tells about an exciting day at the trading floor with rate cuts and how unpredictable a day can be even for the most skilled people.

I am still in some kind of a honeymoon period here at Nordea Markets. Friends and family often ask me about the internship but I never know where to begin.

It was the 3rd of July, a Thursday different from others since this was the day for the Riksbank to announce their rate decision. After the breakfast I attended the daily morning meeting which had a clear focus on the decision. It was expressed that “Nordea, just like everybody else is almost 100% sure that the rate will be cut with 0.25%. What’s more uncertain is the announcement about the rate path”.

After the meeting I talked to one of the more experienced guys at floor, he said “sorry, this might be the most boring rate decision ever”. This felt a bit disappointing but still, I felt pretty excited to be at a trading floor at such an essential time. From 09:00 the volume gradually increased and at 09:29 the experienced guy told me to take a look at his screen. He told me to look at the specific spot where the rate cut would appear. Standing there, I was basically counting down like at New Year’s Eve and thought that this will definitely be something to remember. When the clock finally showed 09:30 I stood there waiting for the figure to appear but nothing happened. Suddenly someone shouted “They cut it by a half” and another one “Shit, 50 points cut”. Then finally the figure appeared and I could with my own eyes confirm that the rate had surprisingly been cut by 0.50%.

I spent the next 20 minutes just watching the floor and how the Euro and Dollar prices fast had changed. For the first time I could actually see some clear similarities with Wall Street movies from my childhood. Most people had risen up from their chairs and stood there shouting for prices. I remember feeling ashamed for standing there fascinated while others seemed close to panic. After a while the intensity wore off and after an hour everything was back to normal. By the end of the day one of the earlier upset guys approached me and said “more action than expected, right?” I nodded and gave him a smile “indeed”.

This day hopefully says something about how interesting Nordea Markets is. What’s interesting is not just the intensity and the fun employees but maybe most of all how unpredictable the next day is even for the most skilled people in the business.


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